Saturday, February 12, 2011

The wierd, the unexplainable, the myterious ....don't you just love them?

Nothing quite tweaks the human interest quadrant of our brain than something that is beyond our comprehension, and better yet, beyond that of many experts that have studied the phenomena. Add a touch of weird, and maybe even, a dash of evil, and wow; do you have our attention. Novelists and film makers have developed empires over this part of us, not to mention, the teams of engineers designing higher & faster roller coasters.

 And what kind of people would put a device on top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas which propels people (who pay for this and many are drunk) over the top and tilts you down like you are going to fall over 900 feet to the pavement below. Oh my God! The desire to understand and experience these things can be addictive to some, and I am certainly no exception. Let’s face it: as a society we love to get the ever loving hell scared out of us!

My first opportunity to investigate the weird was back in my high school days. Any of you that lived or went to school in Norton, Doyestown, or Clinton, Ohio, indubitably have heard of, and possibly have been to the infamous "Rouge's Hollow". The story, as I recall from hanging out with high school friends, was a murdered child's spirit was trapped for eternity under a bridge in Rouge's Hollow. Now, why in the world does that intrigue us? What could be a more terrible occurrence? Maybe it’s the fact that it was long ago and to visit the site is a tribute to the person who is trapped under the bridge, boy, I'm weird, your right: we just love to get the ever loving hell scared out of us! Anyways, late at night, if you had the nerve, you could park your car on the bridge and listen to the screams and crying of this misplaced child's soul.

Wow, a bunch of us just couldn't wait to check that out! We heard first hand accounts from others at school telling us of the bazaar encounters. How they approached the bridge, sure that they had plenty of nerve to stay there, only to be frightened beyond their wits, and ran away with no explanation of what it could have possibly been, other than "pure evil". Great! PURE EVIL. Doesn't get much better than that!

For my younger readers, this was way before computers, smart phones, Ipads, the Internet, and all of the information that, today, is at our fingertips. Heck, we didn't even have hand held calculators or digit watches! So, getting information required a trip to the library to see what we could learn before we  ventured into our quest.

So with little info and as much courage as any 16 or 17 year old can pretend to have, off we go in my 1948 Chevy (quit laughing...I’m not that ancient, it was old when I got it) on the quest to solve this mystery. It was dark, fogy, and cool that evening. Perfect for the adventure. We found the town, and behold: we found the bridge! We quietly and slowly approached the bridge when someone said: “Wait! If we park going this direction, we will have to cross it again....coming back... if we find anything.” Great thinking. The ‘48 was a large, black, car with a little back window. So, backing it in was a group effort; “ more to the left”........”now, a little to the right”.....”now STOP” were the instructions from the back seat.

Now in good position for our exploration (and a speedy retreat), down went the 4 windows of the massive 4 door. “ Hear anything?”. “Hear anything?” . Asking each other in anticipation af an encounter with the paranormal. Nothing.........Nothing.......Nothing...Then: The most chilling sound of a baby screaming in pain! We out volumed the baby with screaming of our own as, petal to the metal, with all 6 cylinders propelling the ‘48, off we went for the safety of Norton! Was is scary?. Yes. Did I want to go back to the bridge? No!

Years later, I moved to Northeast Oklahoma to work for B. F. Goodrich. I heard many tales at the tire plant about the “Spook Light” of Miami (Oklahoma). As recorded by “Prairie Ghosts . com” the story is:

“In Oklahoma, the Miami Spook Light has been seen since the late 1800's. The legend behind the light says that it is the lantern of a woman searching for her missing daughter. The story goes that a woman sent her daughter out to look for some stray cows in heavy fog. The girl took a lantern with her to light the way but after several hours did not return. Her mother took the other lantern and went out to search for her, going back out night after night until she went insane with grief. When the woman died, her spirit returned to the hills and is said to still walk on cool, foggy nights. The light which appears near Miami is said to be that of the mother's lantern as she still continues to search for the daughter who never came home.”

Pretty spooky, right? Add to this that the fact that Army Corps of Engineers, as well as many other creditable sources, have studied this paranormal phenomena, without explanation, makes, as some call it: “The Hornet Spook Light”, even more creepy. I personally have seen it from a distance and my wife and kids have had much closer, bouncing over and around their bodies, types of experience. Lisa has some great pictures of this weird, but real, phenomena. They love to chase it, photograph it, almost to the point of “pestering” the poor spirit. My stand: “Leave me alone and I’ll let you alone to wander the hills in search of your daughter without my interference!” I guess this is good with “the spirit” as I have not, nor do I want to, seen the spirit coming to my house, peeking into my windows, chasing me, photographing me, or any of the other activities that us humans do to it! I’m good with that agreement.
Whatever is the spark that starts our internal fire for the super scary, death defying, and our overwhelming desire to get the ever loving hell scared out of us, I thank God for it, as it is obvious for many: This is another way of enjoying life. So go for it; watch a spooky movie or read a scary book, I think it might be good for you!

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and send me a note when you get a chance. Remember, if you have any strange bumps (other that goosebumps from the spook light), lumps, or pains, see your doctor.

Loving Life and Fighting Cancer,

John L.

Information is now available on sites like which will also lead you to more history on the area.

Friday, January 7, 2011

You Don't Know.....If You Don't Look!

Merry Christmas to all.......whoops late on that one!

Happy New Year! ....a little late, however, appropriate with 2010 behind us.

There are hundreds of stories and sayings related to "Looking" or "Seeing" what is happening around us; "Look before you leap", "Look on the bright side", "You can't judge a book by it's cover", "Look both ways before you cross the street" (my Mother's favorite as me and my three brothers heard it so many times!), and the ever popular "What are you looking at?"

The perceived necessity of inventing "sayings" to remind us to look, must surely mean that most of the time we don't look. Go for a drive in your car and I am sure will notice a few drivers to prove my theory. They may be looking but not at what they should "the road!".

Then we have the not looking by choice. How many times have you past a store, cafe', museum, or other point of interest and have said; "I would love to stop there to see what that is all about." How many times have we said it, some maybe for years. Or maybe you read about an event happening near you that sounds interesting. Just STOP. Check it out. It's just that easily. You can take a minute to see if it is something you will really enjoy, if not, at least you won't be wondering about it. A few minutes to look may gain you  a new favorite place to shop, eat, have coffee, or whatever, to enhance your life.

I learned a valuable lesson on "Looking" several years ago when we lived on the ranch. We had 160 acres of rolling hills about 1/4 timber and 3/4 of open pasture of various grasses (none smokable), clovers, and the most beautiful array of wild flowers that only God could be the gardener. Several spring feed ponds and a small lazy creek that ran along the side of the drive way for the first 300 yards, then crossing it, you drove on up about 1/2 mile to the house up on the hilltop maybe 100 feet or so higher than the pasture. All the wildlife and wildflowers, Redbud trees, and Dogwood trees, make it a colorful and breathtaking little slice of heaven. It was nearly a daily experience to see our horses and cows grazing with near by, but not too close, deer, as many as 20 on any given day. Wild turkeys, raccoons, and foxes, were also out there every day. However, ranching is an all year job including winter.

We had cattle and horses to feed everyday, regardless of the weather. The weather in Northeast Oklahoma is, for the most part, extremely nice to be outside. However, there are a few weeks in the Summer that are so hot you could fry an egg on a rock (yes, I had to try it and the dogs loved my experiments and our hens always produced more than we could eat) and then there is the winter.

One February morning the sun was shinning as it does over 90% of the time, however, we got about six to eight inches of snow during the night and it was cold out there. Breakfast time for the animals. So in my three layers of clothes, carhart coat and pants, ski mask, and hood, out I go for feeding time.

 I got to the upper pasture and the horses were standing there waiting on me. They had been there for a while as each of them were covered with several inches of snow over their backs like a coat. They didn't seem to mind at all, they are a very tough animal. As I got closer to them, they were staring at me like " what in the world is he dressed like that for?".  I said my "good mornings" to them and proceeded to start the feeding. First I had to empty the snow from their feeding troughs. This pasture was for horses only so we just had an electric fence that the horses had a good respect. I don't know if I was thinking about their coats of snow or what, but I didn't turn off the fence, and yes, I slid into it! It's a darn good fence because ever with all of my mittens and clothing, I was levitated like a David Copperfield magic trip, vibrated the hell out of me, and threw me backwards landing flat on my back, arms and legs flinging out of control. I laid there for a moment, waiting for the horses to quit laughing, and then when I stood up, took a couple of shaky steps, and looked back at my landing place. Behold, there was a perfect and the most beautiful "Snow Angel" I have ever seen! I guess the involuntary reaction in my arms and legs fluttering out of control were perfect to create such a thing of beauty. Who says that God doesn't have a sense of humor. The horses continued to laugh until I got the food out, then hunger overtook comedy, as it does in most cases, for all creatures.

A couple of year later, in the Winter, I got my good lesson on "Looking". It had snowed hard for a couple of days, getting out only to feed, and the house, full of kids (school cancelled) playing with the dogs in the snow. With about ten inches on the ground, another overnight storm that continued all the next day dumped a record breaking fourteen to sixteen inches on top. Unheard of for this part of the country. The snow was so high that even if we could get into our Dodge Ram 3/4 ton 4-wheel drive, it would never make it to the little county road that led to and from, this now isolated, winter wonderland, and yes I did get out to feed the horses, the cows, the dogs, and the chickens.

Ever been snowbound with a house full of kids for a week? Don't get me wrong, we love our kids, however as parents all over this great land know deep in their hearts, we created schools to get them out of the house to somewhat save our sanity. Another day went by, a little more snow, but no melting as it remained very frigid. Then another day, and Lisa said: "we have got to go to the store, even if you have to go by tractor, because we both know even if we could drag the truck to the county road, it hasn't been cleared" My reply was we have plenty of meat in the freezer, the hens are still laying, and plenty of canned food. She countered with " I didn't see you growing any toilet paper out there!". I have never heard more powerful and inspirational words, because even if I could somehow convince the kids to return to the old days of using a page from the Sears catalog, highly unlikely, the thought of plugged sewer lines going to the septic system struck terror in my heart. So after several days, T.P. was the motivation for me to make a long drive to town on the tractor. I bundled up, filled the tractor with diesel, and headed out.

When I got to the gate on the top of the hill, I had to stop and just take in the snow covered lower pasture, the ponds still flowing as they are spring feed, and other than a few wild animal tracks, a perfect blanket of snow as far as you can see. It was so quiet. Not a sound. A nice change from the house full of kids! Definitely no sounds of trucks on the county road, because even though I hadn't driven the tractor down to look, I was sure it was still covered and treacherous. After a minute of enjoying the sight and lack of sound, I opened the gate, walked back to the tractor, and headed down the lane. Who knows, if I could make it out to Highway 10 (about 2 1/2 miles), I might be able to hitch a ride the other 16 to town. Wishing I had made a sign " Need ride, out of toilet paper".  Surely someone would relate to that.

As I made it down the drive, I had to find a speed that would get me there but not freeze me to death in the process. I drove a path that I thought was the lane, although no way to know for sure as the snow was so deep.  When I came to the creek crossing I knew I was on the right path as it was a narrow path only a little more than a truck wide. Up from the creek I emerged, right turn to the front gate, about 300yards to the county road. As I got a little closer, I saw my neighbor to the South out at his gate off of the county road. He was waving as he too had escaped a house full of kids! And what was that......his truck! It wasn't until I made it to the gate and LOOKED, I saw a perfectly scraped and clean county road. I got off the tractor and yelled " Hello Chad, when did they clear the road?" Chad is a man of few words, but I will never forget these. After a spit of his chew and a wipe of his mouth on back of his glove, he announced, "Three days ago". Not wanting to look stupid in front of my veteran cowboy neighbor, I checked my gate, asked how his folks were, mounted my tractor and up to the house I headed. When I got there, plenty cold, Lisa asked "Too cold to make the trip?" I replied "No. The road has been open for three days! Let's hook up a chain to the Durango or pick up and drag it to the gate." She chose the Durango 4-wheel drive as some of the kids wanted to go also. So chained to the tractor, we drug the Durango to the road. Wishing I had looked three days ago. Lisa drove to town, while I on my tractor with front end loader, made a path to the house the best I could. Hoping it would be good enough for Lisa when she returned. It was. Thank you Lord!

To take a look was five or six minute on the tractor. To not look cost us three days! Who knows, if it wasn't for the overpowering demand for toilet paper, we may have been there for another couple of days.

I guess the moral of the story is that you should stop to take the time and effort to look at the world around us. This includes our heath. If you have a strange lump, bump, pain, or change in your weight or appetite: Stop and have a Dr. look at it. It may be nothing, but don't put it off like I did, only to find Squamous Cancer in the 4th degree. Sure wish I would have caught it sooner.

Write when you can. I love hearing from everyone. And even though I have been in the hospital from Christmas Eve until now (with a while to go), I remain "Loving Life and Fighting Cancer". Love and best wishes to all,

John L.